ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 2, Issue 4, 615-628, 2011
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Behavioral and Cognitive-Behavioral Treatments for Youth with Social Phobia

Lindsay Scharfstein and Deborah C. Beidel
University of Central Florida. USA

Volume 2, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 615-628

Pediatric social phobia (SP) is characterized by a pervasive pattern of social timidity. SP is most often diagnosed in mid- to- late adolescence, affecting approximately 3-5% of youth. This article reviews behavioral (BT) and cognitive-behavioral treatments (CBT) for youth with SP and outlines several limitations in the current literature. Although these treatments are all presumed to be efficacious for youth with SP and are often the treatment of choice, examination of outcome often occurs in samples with mixed anxiety disorders (AD) (including generalized anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder). Outcome is often assessed without considering diagnostic status, obfuscating important treatment distinctions. Further, SP often accounts for only a small portion of the samples in controlled treatment trials that include different diagnostic categories. When outcomes are examined by diagnosis, recovery rates for SP often are lower in comparison with other ADs, suggesting that factors unique to SP youth are not being adequately addressed with some forms of CBT. In contrast, interventions that include social skills training result in outcome rates for SP that are equivalent to the overall rates for BT/CBT for mixed diagnostic groups. The critical role of assessment and treatment of skills deficits in youth with SP is highlighted.

Table of Contents
 Inclusion Criteria
 Search Procedure
Critique of the Literature
 Children with Primary SP are Underrepresented in Controlled Treatment Trials
 SP Youth are Treated in Mixed AD Groups and Results are Reported Collectively
 Differential Outcome for Children with SP in Comparison with other AD Youth
 Treatments With and Without SST and Assessment of Social Skills
Summary and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Lindsay Scharfstein, University of Central Florida, P.O. Box 161390, Orlando, FL USA

social phobia; social anxiety disorder; treatment; review; social skills

Received 28 Nov 2010; Revised 12 Feb 2011; Accepted 1 Mar 2011; In Press 11 Dec 2011

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